A series of battles in 1863
for the Union
The city of Chattanooga with its railroads and riverboats was a vital transportation center during the Civil War. Both armies recognized its importance. In the late summer and fall of 1863, several key military actions decided the fate of Chattanooga, and helped determine the fate of the Confederacy.
(1) Battle of Chickamauga - September 18-20
About 10 miles south of Chattanooga near West Chickamauga Creek, Confederate forces defeated the Union army in a bloody two-day battle. The Federals withdrew to Chattanooga and fortified the city.
(2) Siege of Chattanooga - September 22 to November 23
Confederates laid siege to the city of Chattanooga to force the Federals to surrender. Confederates occupied positions along the Tennessee River, Missionary Ridge, and Lookout Mountain.
(3) Union Army Reinforced - Late October
The besieged and hungry Federals managed to open a supply line through Lookout Valley into the city. With fresh troops and supplies, they were ready to fight by late November.
(4) Battle of Orchard Knob - November 23
Union troops stormed and captured Orchard Knob, a hill to the east of their defense line in the city.
(5) Battle of Lookout Mountain - November 24
Union forces drove the Confederates from their positions on Lookout Mountain. Because the mountain was partially shrouded in fog, the action was also called the "Battle Above the Clouds."
(6) Battle of Missionary Ridge - November 25
Union forces stormed and shattered Confederate units occupying Missionary Ridge. The siege was broken, and Chattanooga became the Federal base from which Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman would launch his Atlanta campaign in the spring of 1864.